Massachusetts restaurant boss says labor shortage has left South Coast region with hardly any kitchen staff: ‘It’s a complete nightmare’

Massachusetts restaurant boss says labor shortage has left South Coast region with hardly any kitchen staff: ‘It’s a complete nightmare’

  • A Massachusetts restaurant-chain boss says the labor shortage has become a “complete nightmare.”
  • Lafrance Hospitality’s general manager Charlie Fellows, told SouthCoast Today the issue is ongoing.
  • It’s the worst situation I’ve ever seen,” he told the outlet.

Massachusetts restaurants are facing a severe and ongoing struggle to find qualified kitchen staff, amid the nationwide labor shortage. 

“It’s been a complete nightmare,” Lafrance Hospitality general manager Charlie Fellows told local outlet SouthCoast Today. “I’ve been doing this for close to 30 years, and it’s the worst situation I’ve ever seen.”

Lafrance Hospitality owns several restaurants in the South Coast region, including Bittersweet Farms, White’s of Westport, and Merrill’s on the Waterfront.

As SouthCoast Today reported, it appears that almost every restaurant in the area has at least one open vacancy for cooks, bakers, or servers.

A lack of kitchen staff has posed problems for businesses outside the region, too. In Baltimore, it recently caused one neighborhood’s last remaining restaurant to close down for good.

Few industries have escaped the crippling effects of the labor shortage. Some businesses have gone as far as blaming the shortage on a lack of desire to work. Many workers have countered by saying that they will no longer settle for low-paying jobs and don’t need to take them in such a competitive labor market.

Recently, an Ohio Starbucks location cut its operating hours and is closing two days a week because it doesn’t have enough workers. 

Washington State Ferries, the country’s largest ferry system, joined the long list of operators struggling to find workers. On Friday, the agency announced it had temporarily cut the number of ferries or trips on 70% of its routes because of staffing shortages

Back in Massachusetts, Fellows said his company recently lined up six interviews but not one of the candidates showed up. 

They even hired someone who came in and collected a uniform but they didn’t turn up either. “They were all ready to work and then on their first day, they didn’t even show up for work,” he told SouthCoast Today.

No-shows are becoming an increasing problem amid the labor crunch. As Insider’s Grace Dean and Kate Duffy, reported, some businesses say as many as 90% of candidates don’t turn up to job interviews and some quit soon after being hired. “You’re basically hiring anyone that would show up,” taco restaurant owner Paul Horton told Insider’s Grace Dean and Kate Duffy

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